Agenda Departments


Western Mass. Business Expo

Nov. 4: Comcast Business will present the fifth annual Western Mass. Business Expo at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News. The business-to-business show will feature more than 100 booths, seminars and Show Floor Theater presentations, breakfast and lunch programs, a day-capping Expo Social, the annual pitch contest, robotics and machine tooling demonstrations, flu shots, and much more. Sponsors include Comcast Business, presenting sponsor; Health New England, Johnson & Hill Staffing Services, MGM Springfield, and Wild Apple Design, director-level sponsors; the Isenberg School of Business at UMass Amherst, education sponsor; 94.7 WMAS, media sponsor; Peerless Precision, Smith & Wesson, the NTMS, and the Larry A. Maier Memorial Educational Fund as robotics and manufacturing sponsors, and Meyers Brothers Kalicka as entrepreneur sponsor. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or visit

Senior Health Fair

Nov. 4: Baystate Franklin Medical Center and the YMCA of Greenfield will hold a Senior Health Fair and Functional Fitness Assessment from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the YMCA, 454 Main St. The event, for individuals age 60 and older, will feature a variety of screenings, fitness assessments, information stations, guest speakers, and healing modalities to explore. The event is free and open to the public; lunch will be provided at noon. YMCA staff will administer the functional fitness assessment, which includes six elements: lower body strength, upper body strength, aerobic endurance, lower body flexibility, upper body flexibility, and agility and balance. BFMC departments represented will include the Emergency Department, Medical-Surgical, Birthplace, Cardiopulmonary, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Audiology, Case Management, and Baystate Home Infusion, offering various screenings (such as hearing and balance testing), information on assistive devices, heart-healthy information, and Reiki and stroke education. Participants can test their healthcare knowledge with a ‘Wheel of Health’ game. In addition to YMCA and BFMC staff, vendors from other healthcare-related services will be exhibiting at the fair. During lunch, three guest speakers will be featured: Dr. Tom Higgins, interim president and CEO of Baystate Franklin Medical Center, speaking on senior health; cardiologist Dr. Heba Wassif, on what to monitor with new medications and the side effects they can cause; and nurse practitioner Pamela McLean, on cancer prevention. The event is free, but pre-registration is encouraged. For more information or to register, call (413) 773-3646, ext. 448, or register at the YMCA Welcome Center.

Spirit of Skiing Award

Nov. 7: Cal Conniff will be honored by the New England Ski Museum (NESM) at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The event is open to the public. NESM’s Spirit of Skiing Award is given to honor a skiing notable who manifests the motto, “skiing is not just a sport, it is a way of life,” attributed to ski pioneer Otto Schniebs. Previous winners include Olympic medalists Stein Eriksen and Penny Pitou, U.S. Olympians Tom Corcoran and Tyler Palmer, Killington Ski Resort founder Preston Smith, renowned ski instructor Herbert Schneider, and ski-show impresario Bernie Weichsel. Conniff spent his professional life working for the betterment of the ski-area industry, managing the Mt. Tom Ski Area from 1968 to 1973. He put the small facility on the national map by developing extensive night skiing and one of the earliest snow-making systems in the country in the 1960s, two innovations that were soon emulated throughout the resort industry. During his tenure at Mt. Tom, Conniff targeted the youth market, introducing thousands to the thrill of downhill skiing through numerous school programs. Conniff took over leadership of the National Ski Areas Assoc. in 1973, moving its offices from New York City to West Hartford, Conn. and ultimately downtown Springfield in 1978, where it remained until his retirement in 1990. He now lives in Wells, Maine. Conniff was an accomplished ski racer in college and won the four-way combined championships for the American Armed Forces in Europe when he was stationed in Germany in the 1950s. A graduate of American International College (AIC), he hosted a TV show on WWLP called Skiers’ Corner. He was inducted into AIC’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, and to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1990. He is the former president of the New England Ski Museum, where an annual grants program was established in his name. Tickets to the event, which starts at 5 p.m., cost $75 and available by calling the NESM at (603) 823-7177 or visiting Proceeds support the museum’s mission to preserve the history of skiing.

Neuroscientist to Visit Springfield College

Nov. 19: The Springfield College Center for Wellness Education and Research (CWER) will host world-renowned neuroscientist and nutrition and diet expert Nicole Avena at 7 p.m. in the Fuller Arts Center. Avena’s presentation, “Why Diets Fail: Because You’re Addicted to Sugar,” will focus on years of research showing that sugar is addictive, and present a science-based plan to stop cravings. The event is free and open to the public. Author of more than 50 scholarly journal articles, Avena’s research suggests that overeating of palatable foods can produce changes in the brain and behavior that resemble addiction, findings that have jump-started an entire new field of exploration and discovery related to the obesity epidemic. She has presented her research to an array of audiences, including pharmaceutical companies, diabetes-prevention groups, food-industry marketing executives, nutrition groups, and obesity-education groups, and has contributed to articles in Men’s Health, Psychology Today, Bloomberg Businessweek, and WebMD. The New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Assoc., and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have honored her research achievements. Housed in the Springfield College School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, CWER’s mission of is to serve as the region’s pre-eminent source for best practices in nutrition and physical-activity programming for young people.

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